Though home insurance isn’t a legal requirement like car insurance (the reason being is that it is improbable that your home will cause damage to somebody else’s home), it should be viewed as essential. The cost of rebuilding all or part of your home following a disaster, such as a fire, flood or worse, would terrify even the most level-headed person, and the cost of replacing all of your contents following a break in can be almost as high. Fortunately, it is very unlikely that you will befall any of these misfortunes but living without home insurance isn’t a gamble worth taking.
Buildings and contents – not everyone needs both
As you may already know, there are two types of home insurance; buildings insurance and contents insurance. The reason for this is that a large number of people, tenants for example, don’t require the actual building to be insured and therefore the premiums are split. What you may not know is that different insurers specialise in different areas so whether you live in a high rise flat, a cottage in the countryside or a three-bedroomed semi, you need to look around to find the best home insurance for you.
Insuring for the correct value will actually cut your premiums
There are a number of ways to cut the cost of home insurance, regardless of your living situation. Firstly, if you require building cover, think carefully about the amount (sum insured) you insure for. When insuring a car, for instance, you would insure it to its full market value as that is the amount it would cost to have it replaced. However, your insurance company are only interested in the amount it would cost to rebuild the house if the worst came to the worst. It can be difficult to estimate which is why many people simply give their insurers the market value but as the cost of a rebuild is much less, using the market value will raise your premium.
Other premium savers
Other ways to cut down your insurance costs include fitting a burglar alarm, ensuring that your windows and doors all have approved locks, living in a Neighbourhood Watch area and building a No Claim’s Discount.
UKMM tip #1
Although there aren’t specific types of insurance for different types of buildings, listed buildings excepted, there are different scenarios which could affect your premium. For example, the more bedrooms you have, the higher the premium, so if you use the spare bedroom as a study then include that in your quote. Similarly, terraced or semi-detached houses tend to cost more due to their proximity to other properties. If you live in a flat, you shouldn’t need to get buildings insurance as the building isn’t your responsibility (it is the responsibility of whoever owns the freehold).
UKMM tip #2
Finally, if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, or has flooded recently, you may struggle to find reasonable home insurance. There is one company, Homeprotect, who specialise in these circumstances so they will definitely be worth a call.